Thursday, April 30, 2009

Heart Rates, Forrest Gump, Castle Cakes & Husbands

Happy Birthday, Husband! I hope he has a good birthday. He recently started reading this blog and LIKES it. Wow, what a compliment! He never read the old blog because he refused to get a myspace. The only questionable thing is that he says I'm so funny and entertaining. Most of the time I'm not trying to be funny and entertaining in the blog, so I must either be funnier than I think or I'm really boring in person. Let me just take the compliment and run with it - do NOT overanalyze.

Miss J is really digging her push toy (if you're on Facebook, I posted a video of it a few days ago). She practically runs with the thing - she hasn't really perfected the turning concept, so she runs into everything at Mach 2. Or she gets so overeager she topples the toy and herself. But when she really gets going, I think of Forrest Gump. Remember that scene where he has the leg braces and starts running, and the braces fall off? Yep, I have a feeling that's how Julia's going to learn to walk. She'll be going full speed ahead with that push toy, throw it aside, and then just run like the wind! I would never, ever yell, "Run, Julia, RUN!" to get her to try to do it. Noooooooooo....

Miss J and I played catch today. We set a few feet from each other. I'd roll a ball toward her. She'd pick it up, do an overhead arm motion with a spike, and the ball would bounce toward me. We played for about 10 minutes. It was so cute! I really think I'm going to like the toddler phase. I know it will definitely have its frustrations, but it is so refreshing compared to 8 hours of screaming in a day for her first 4 months of life. That was pure torture.

Miss J has moved up to the toddler menu at daycare. Considering she insists on feeding herself, and - well - baby food is pretty hard for her to feed herself, they've decided to move her on up to a different diet. She's still on formula. Only one of the workers can get her to take her bottle really well, and she's been on vacation this week. So this week is kind of low for formula at daycare, but solids are going great (as long as she can feed herself)! Since we're supposed to keep track of her calories, it gets hard with 'real' food. With baby food it's easy to know that half a jar of sweet potatoes & turkey is 60 calories. The upside is that if we can get her on more solids, that will be a good hurdle to overcome. We still have to work on sippy cups and transitioning to whole milk, but at least we're making progress on more solid foods. And the toddler diet they serve is really varied. She'll be exposed to a lot of different foods, and I take that as a really good thing. We got the May menu for the lunches and 3 snacks each day. Yes, they choreograph 3 small meals and a big lunch for each day. And I didn't see a whole lot of repeats. She'll be getting teriyaki chicken with broccoli for lunch one day, and the next will be getting fried rice and egg with veggies. I'm stoked for her! Yesterday she got mandarin oranges and cheese (they also served something with peanut butter, but she didn't get that). Today she got veggies, pears, cheese and half a banana. They are so surprised that she's eating SO much solid food considering how little she eats of baby food and formula. The kicker is that she must be able to feed herself. She only has two teeth, and that makes it kind of interesting, to say the least, when she won't let you mash the food.

S and I have this crazy idea to make Miss J a castle cake for her birthday. I blame Leigh Ann and watching too many episodes of Food Network's cake challenges. As if two people who have never used fondant or icing implements will be able to make the masterpiece that's shown on the box!!! Yeah right. After I bought the castle cake set, which says "everything to make the castle cake is in the box," I discovered that you need about 12 things that AREN'T in the box. I have been advised by Rebecca to do a trial run. If all else fails, we'll just get a Costco cake because I have a feeling S and I will be up all night before the party messing with this dang cake & then end up going to Costco anyway.

Got my heart rate monitor! I'm so excited. I did a trial run. On flat surfaces my HR was 110-115. On slight hills it went up to about 125-130. On the big hill it got up to 150. If I jogged, it went up to 160-170.

Now I get to program at what rate it will beep at me.

Target heart rate = 220 - age (30) = 190

Moderate intensity exercise = 55% - 70% of target heart rate

This means I need to keep my heart rate between 105 - 133 while exercising. Seeing as that I didn't dip below 110 on my walk, I don't think this will be a problem. I'll program the lower number to be 116. So if my heart rate goes below 116, it will beep at me. That will indicate I need to pick up the pace!

Weigh-in is tomorrow. I'm excited and dreading it all at the same time. For the most part, I stayed within my points since Monday. The weekend was bad because of all that Mexican food I ate on Saturday. So I think I did okay, which is exciting. But a part of me is dreading it in case the numbers didn't move.

Hasta manana.

Icky Errands

Carrie update: She responded to my blog comments, but I haven't seen her over here yet. I also updated the last post with something similar. Leigh Ann and April, I am psycho. You just don't know it yet because I haven't gotten my act together enough to come to Georgia just yet!

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Some days are just plain frustrating. There has been an ongoing frustration with a specific project I've been trying to get accomplished for a friend. Finally, finally got that sent off to Costco today. Whew! I hate really getting close to deadlines.

Then I used my lunch for errands. It was the most frustrating errand spree ever.

I had to pick up a DVD on hold at the icky library while the main library is being remodeled. The parking lot for the library is insufficient, it is extremely crowded inside, smells like wet dog, long lines. It takes away part of your soul while you're in there; it's so depressing (not libraries in general, but THAT library). If this is a glimmer of what it's like to use public services, then we seriously need to get more funding for social services. I absolutely dread going, but stupid me didn't change the default location of where you can pick up your holds. They have a very small branch in the local mall as well. I need to change my default location to the mall branch.

The sad part is that the library knows the situation that closing the huge library is creating all sorts of problems. From May 1 - May 8, the overflow library will open an hour early. I'm not sure why they'd open it an hour early for only a week. Maybe they are trying to see if opening an hour earlier will make it less crowded during the day. To me it seems like there's a lot of people who stay there all day playing on their computers. But who knows! There are all these signs that remind you that the mall branch is open & that you can go there as well. We can see they are trying to accommodate more people and trying to get people to use the mall branch, but it's still a poor situation. The employees are cranky, probably they get to deal with people who whine and complain about the state of the library all day. I want to whine and complain to someone about it, but these poor employees probably hear about it every 5 minutes. I'll spare the employees my diatribe and tell my blog.

It's just sad and depressing.

So after the sad and depressing library experience, I go to Party City to investigate birthday decorations for Miss J. I have a coupon for $5 off if I spend $25 on "any purchase." Down below in fine print it says that sale and clearance items are not included in the offer. Then why say it can be used for "any purchase" if it can't be? I actually figured that restriction out before I used the coupon. I just found it irritating. And the price for themed consumable paper products is outrageous! I kept my receipt in case I find them cheaper elsewhere.

Then I go to Target to get Julia some Gerber pasta shells & cheese. I had gotten a few varieties of the high calorie dinners for her, and she really seems to like that one. The shells are big enough for her to grab (but not too big), there's some sauce but it's not too messy, she loves it and eagerly opens her mouth once she realizes that it's pasta shells. They were out of stock though. Had every other Gerber meal except for shells & cheese. Then I went to 3 other nearby stores, and they didn't even sell that variety.

I was very cranky about my errands today. I'm still cranky about my errands. In the grand scheme of things, it's silly to be irritated by them. After 4 icky experiences before 1pm today, though, sometimes you just have to write off a day as icky.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Following

I follow about 12 blogs. 1 of them is random. As in, she posted to a general discussion board, she posted an intriguing comment, I clicked on her name, and it brought up her blog. She's a cool chick who posts regularly, and I'm following her now. She graduated from college recently and is doing ministry work. She likes a boy and doesn't think he likes her. She wants to lose weight. I identify with her trying to find her place in the world.

I'm pretty sure she can see that I'm following her blog, right??? Does she wonder who I am? Or maybe she can't tell. I have no idea.

A few days ago she posted. I read her blog right away. She changed her blog layout to turquoise and purple butterflies and was asking for feedback. So I was brave enough to comment.

I'm very bad at checking to see if someone responds. Actually sometimes I think I click to be notified of subsequent comments, but it must send it to gmail. And I rarely check my gmail; I use my yahoo. Well, anyway, I purposefully checked back the next day, and she had responded and thanked me.

Mustn't she think, "Who is this crazy, random lady? Do I know her?" So did she go to my blog and try to figure it out? Maybe she doesn't care who I am. But she seems like a very thoughtful young lady who would try to figure it out. On the other hand, she has a public blog, so she must think that anyone who drops on by is fine to read it. I have no idea.

Carrie, if you're reading, I think you're an awesome young lady. I do blog stalk, but I'm not a scary stalker. I just like to read about people's thoughts. And if I read your thoughts regularly, you're super cool in my eyes.

Carrie, if you're not reading, I'm going to start commenting on your blog more so that you will wonder who in the heck Miss J's Mom really is. It's my mission to get you to read this post and comment.

And, Carrie, I am a bit of a nutjob. But not the psycho kind.

:)

P.S. I just posted comments to two different posts. Waiting, waiting, waiting.... I think she's Eastern Time Zone, so the earliest it will happen is tomorrow.

Is it weird to want to establish a blog relationship with someone?

Don't answer that!

EDITED TO ADD: She responded to both my comments on her blog. Oh well, I guess she doesn't care who the crazy lady is who comments on her blog. I was the only comment on both; it's not like she has a zillion comments.

Oh well, maybe someday she'll read this.

And, for the record, Leigh Ann and April, I am indeed crazy and should be locked up in a mental institution. Pronto! Before I come to Georgia and stalk you both.

My Insightful Thought of the Day

I think I have a blog inferiority complex. One of my FB friends put a link to her blog to my other friend, but since I'm both friends of them, I can see their wall exchange (make sense? If you don't have FB, it probably won't make any sense. Oh well.). Anyways, I went to the link, and she is so articulate and talks about current issues and her take on them. I don't really do that. I blather on about my stupid life and don't talk about the President's first 100 days or the Miss America gay question or whatever else is the topic of the day. I guess I'm not a critical thinker that presents issues with thoughtful arguments. I seem to blather on my rather mundane life. Let's see, let me try to have an insightful thought of the day. Here's my insightful thought on a critical issue of the day:

I am so freaking tired of hearing about freaking swine flu all freaking day.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I know I'm a nutjob

You don't need to tell me that I'm a nutjob. I already know it. I need to count some Cheerios. As you know, Miss J is underweight. My darling dear LOVES puffs. Imagine my dismay that she ingests 1 calorie for every 3 puffs. I had thought it was 1 calorie for every 2 puffs, but that may have been the generic brand. Ugh! Can there be a more low calorie food for someone who needs all the calories she can get? Once we're done with all the puffs in the house, NO MORE PUFFS! I want to move to Cheerios exclusively (and they're cheaper anyway). But I want to count out how many Cheerios are in 1 serving and then do the math to figure out how many calories are in a Cheerio. I'm thinking it's more than 1/3 of a calorie.

Speaking of Gerber foods, have you ever looked at the calorie content of their ravioli? When I looked at the container initially, I was jazzed because I thought this was a good calorie dense meal. Every time I even look at ravioli, I gain 10 lbs. So I thought it had to be the same for babies. The Gerber ravioli is 70 calories for 6 ounces when I looked at the nutrition facts! That seems insanely low. I need to be eating those Gerber raviolis. Even if I eat 3 containers, it's only 210 calories for over a pound of ravioli!!!! Hmmm...how about I eat Julia's ravioli, and she eats mine? Sounds like a good trade, huh? ;)

Julia is really liking those microwaveable containers of Gerber mac & cheese and pasta & shells. Yes, she LIKES them! As in, she opens her mouth for more and gets excited as the spoon approaches. Considering she is now refusing avocado & yogurt (at least at home; she'll eat it at daycare), I'm glad there's something she WILL eat. Mac & cheese isn't the most healthy thing on the planet, but - hey - it's calories and it's not a fight to feed it to her. She also ate some cheddar cheese for dinner. And puffs, can't forget those 1/3 of a calorie puffs! At least she ate some peaches and yogurt at daycare. We still have to work on veggies. Actually I've been bad about feeding them to her because a lot of veggies are 30 calories for 4 ounces. So very low.

I'm stressing over the transition to whole milk. I'm trying to give her more dairy (i.e., cheese) in her daily eating to get her more used to milk since she's on hypoallergenic formula. And I'm worried about her moving to the toddler room. Two HUGE changes in a month from now - just when we got into a little groove. I think Julia takes after her mama and hates change. Or she hates change that's not on her terms.

I had something else to report, but I forgot what it was. I'm getting so forgetful. It will come to me at 3am, whatever it is.

Counting Those Points

I've been part of the Biggest Loser challenge since the beginning of January. So far I've lost about 15 pounds. I am happy about being a little bit lighter. Losing 15 pounds in 4 months is pretty darn good, but I had expected a little bit more. My goal had been to lose 35 pounds in 6 months. So if I still want to meet that goal, I have to lose 20 pounds in approximately 10 weeks (or 2 lbs/week on average). Yikes! If I was on the real Biggest Loser, I could probably do it because those people exercise about 40 hours a week. In real life, I don't have that much time to exercise in a week. As I see it, my alternatives are:

1. Plow ahead and try to meet my original goal of losing 35 pounds total.

OR

2. Modify my goal a little bit.

As much as I think it's most realistic to modify my target, I feel like I'm giving up if I modify my goal. Right now I'm really trying to get my act together and focus on Option 1. I don't want to settle for a new goal - not just yet. You never know, I might be able to pull my act together sooner rather than later.

I wish I had tried harder these past 4 months. The first month or two were hard because I started back at work, and Julia started at daycare. That was a huge adjustment (more for her than me, but I stress about her). When I'm more stressed, I eat more. Life is starting to calm down a bit. We're getting in more of a routine. Julia's gaining a bit of weight and eating & sleeping a little more at daycare (that takes a LOT of the edge off). I'm better able to devote some time and focus on losing the weight now.

I ordered a heart rate monitor online (oh shoot, I forgot to go to the upromise link before I bought it!). When I get it, I'll be better able to tell at what rate I'm exercising. I'm one of those people who cannot take her own pulse, and I don't have a CLUE at what intensity I work out. Not that I work out a whole lot, but I do 2-mile walks, occasionally Shred, very occasionally do The Firm, etc. You can set it to beep at you if your heart rate goes too low, so then you get an audible reminder to kick it in higher gear.

So my plan is to lose 20 pounds in 10 weeks by: 1) obsessively and compulsively counting points and staying within my point range AND 2) exercising with my new heart rate monitor when I get it in the mail.

Monday, April 27, 2009

College Edition #2

Here is my attempt at recreating Valentine's Day 1996. My prologue to this blog post is that I am quite adept at getting people to talk with me. People just tell me stuff. A lot of stuff they probably shouldn't tell me, but I'm reasonably trustworthy & they must feel enough confidence in me that I won't tell. Most of the time, I don't mind hearing about people's lives. I like to hear people's stories although I usually don't tell mine in person. My theory is that I'm on this earth to learn, and I can't learn if I'm talking. Or I could be just speculating, and the real reason people tell me things is because I don't talk, the silence gets awkward, and they try to fill it with banter. I guess it doesn't matter which theory is true because the end result is the same: people tell me stuff.

And despite what my first college roommate says to me via post-it notes, I'm very quiet, and I like to observe things. I watch people (not stalker-like, but I try to pay attention). I often see things other people don't see, or I see one part & try to put together the rest of the puzzle.

The bottom line is that people are interesting.

Now let's go back to 1996 and warm up that time capsule! ZOOM ZOOM (my time capsule was made by Mazda apparently)!

During winter quarter of 1996, I moved out of Kristina's room. Thank my lucky stars for a resident director who let me get my own room. I still had to share a living room, kitchen and bathroom, but it was only with 1 other person. Name changed to protect the innocent. Let's call her Jessica. So Jessica and I each had our own bedroom, and we shared the living space. Jessica was nice enough. She was a bit of a partier, but she was relatively considerate and she was very much of a nester. Her dorm room didn't really look like a dorm room after she got done decorating it. She brought in some leather furniture, a really nice TV, a nice rug, and lots of accessories.

Jessica and I had only been living together for a month or so at this point. We didn't know each other very well yet, but so far it was going okay. So on Valentine's Day of 1996 (it was a Wednesday), I come from class in the afternoon. Jessica's bedroom door is closed, and it seems as if some sort of bedroom frolicking is going on by the noises. Hmmm... I wonder who is in there with her. She wasn't dating anyone. I set myself up to study on my bed such that I have a good view of her bedroom door. I try to set up my hair so that it looks like I'm not looking although I can see through my strands of hair. I wait, perusing my book but mainly staring at the bedroom door as I lie on my bed. Tick tock. It seems like forever, but finally Chuck (name NOT changed) emerges.

Chuck is one of those guys that women love, and I cannot figure out for the life of me why women like him so much. He's not that attractive. He's rude. He doesn't come across all that intelligent. But he's fun and likes to drink, and I guess that's what most college girls want. Anyway, he leaves, Jessica makes apple turnovers while humming (she was such a mom, she loved to bake & I loved to eat her baking), and I continue to study. I pretend to not have seen (or heard) anything. Things like this are what the dorm gossip mills go crazy over, and I hadn't quite processed it yet.

The funny part about this whole thing is that I can't remember what I did on Valentine's Day. I had a boyfriend then, and we probably went out for dinner. Ho hum, boring.

The next morning I'm going to class, and I see my friend Olivia (name changed to protect the innocent) in the elevator. There are other people in the elevator, and she tells me that she has to talk to me. I tell her that I'll come by her room that evening. Staying on top of the latest dorm gossip was of utmost importance, after all.

That evening I went up to Olivia's room. (She lives across the hall from Chuck, and she knew Jessica. I wasn't sure if I was going to spill my gossip yet.) She pulls me into her room and before I can get anything out, she tells me that she slept with Chuck last night. He was her first bedroom frolicker.

What?!? I'm doing mental math in my head, and all I can think is Ewwwwwww! since I knew of him and Jessica around 3pm the previous day. I'm sure my facial expression was kind of pained, and I had no idea what I was supposed to say to Olivia. I never liked Chuck to begin with, and now I really didn't like him. Olivia goes on and on about how he said he loved her and all the typical crap that girls love to hear. Oh, I bet he could say all that in his sleep since he's probably given the same speech 50 times.

That was a conundrum. What was I supposed to say? Should I break this sweet girl's heart by telling her what I heard/saw the previous day? She might think I'm lying, she may march over to Jessica and accuse her (and Jessica doesn't know that I know), she may cry uncontrollably. None of these alternatives seemed particularly appealing, and it really wasn't my business anyway. So I don't say much and try to muster some sort of enthuisiasm - however contrived. She's practically planning her wedding to Chuck, and I'm ready to storm across the hall and scream at him for what he did to my sweet friend AND my decent roommate.

But I chose the path of silence on all counts. I went back to my room with all my secrets. Jessica was watching TV, and I felt just as awkward around her as I did around Olivia.

Of course this story is not over yet. On Friday (the next day), I walk in the door in the evening with my boyfriend. I haven't told him any of this because, frankly, I didn't trust him all that much. So he and I are talking as we're walking into the living room, and guess who are on talking on the couch? Jessica AND Olivia. I just stop and stare. I try to recover before they wonder about my mental health and say hi. Then I go into my room, try not to hyperventilate, and get what I came in there to get. Jessica yells, "We were just talking about the butts of the guys in the dorm. Who do you think has the best butt?"

"Umm...I don't know," I responded as I rifled through all my stuff. My boyfriend was of course loving the conversation between these two girls. Whew, it sounded like the truth hadn't come out yet, or they would like be arguing or screaming or crying. I was starting to relax.

Olivia says, "I think Chuck does."

Jessica concurred with Olivia, and they started talking about Chuck more. Then I started to get nervous. This could go sour very, very quickly. I grabbed my boyfriend and practically ran from the room. Yes, running/avoidance is very much my coping mechanism of choice.

The truth didn't come out that night, but it came out shortly after. It turns out that there had been another girl as well as Jessica and Olivia. It was a horrible mess. Olivia's first love (Chuck) broke her heart and gave her herpes. Who knows where he got it from. Throughout the rest of college, I kept in contact with Olivia, but after she graduated, we went our separate ways. I hope she's doing okay, wherever she is.

And that is the notorious Valentine's Day of 1996 where stuff that I saw + stuff that I heard = really bad news.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Dealing with Frustration

Julia has dealt with frustration from her first moment breathing air. She was pissed. "Put me back!" seemed to be what she was saying, but it was coming out through intense screaming, the chin wiggle, and vigorous hand shaking. I was so excited when we moved past screaming as her sole way to let out frustration. At about 4 months she started trilling when she was frustrated - moving her tongue against the roof of her mouth. Hey, at least it wasn't screaming! She still screamed, but there was trilling as well. After the trilling lost its luster, she started blowing raspberries when life threw her lemons. Then her frustration reliever evolved into moving her arms up and down. Our blessed ears loved the break. And now we have moved onto a new frustration reliever: clapping.

This one is kind of comical. You set her down to change her diaper, which she hates. She does not like being put down on her back. She gives you her outraged expression, and you start to change her. Soon you are greeted by clapping. What? Yes, you get an ovation and a varied amount of irritated facial expressions, grunts, and occasional screams. Apparently she hasn't realized that clapping is generally a positive gesture. We will take the clapping as a reward for a job well done.

I want to do another college blog all about Valentine's Day, but it could offend and is somewhat randy. Well, I'll have to think about it. And of course I'd have to change names to protect the innocent.

Vindication

I was just thinking of college. Back then I had such an eclectic life. Living in the dorm, by nature, lends itself to zany situations and personalities. I loved college. If I could ever re-live any time of my life for the fun of it, it would be college. Living in the dorm, going to classes, getting every meal made for you - ah, pure heaven. While my current life is so boring that I could never write a memoir, my college days could at least be an interesting chapter in a book. So in an effort to give a different flavor to my blog, I'll change subjects for a while. I think I blogged about some of these things a few years ago, but there was that change of venue and all.

I call this blog entry Vindication because it is vindication even though I didn't do anything. I try not to be a mean person & although I have my mean thoughts and moments, they are mostly fleeting. I love the vindication that happens through mere karma. Then you just have to sit back and laugh.

My first roommate in college was Kristina. She and I shared a bedroom in a dorm. There was another bedroom with two other girls, and in the middle was a kitchenette and living room and bathroom. So it was essentially a two bedroom apartment. Kristina and I were not a match made in heaven.

She was madly in love with her boyfriend Eric, who lived in Port Angeles (a two-hour drive + a ferry ride away). She had her Eric shrine all made up by the time I moved in - which was a few hours after she got there. A sign that said "Eric St.," photos of her and Eric, photos of just Eric. Every time I woke up in the morning, there was no escaping me seeing 50 different pictures of Eric staring at me. For the record, Eric was a nice guy. I'm not sure what he saw in Kristina, but oh well. Kristina was deeply attached to Eric; she talked to him for at least an hour each night. Lots of "I love you more. No, I love you more!" as I try to study. And after she talked to Eric, she had to talk to her mom for another hour. She was a business major, and she kept telling me how difficult the program was. Basically she would come home from class after lunch and study until dinner, eat dinner with the two other girls, come back to the room & commence her "I love you" call to Eric followed by repeating essentially the same thing to her mom, study for another hour or so, and then go to sleep. Business majors didn't have class on Fridays, so on rotating weekends she'd go back to Port Angeles. On the other weekends, Eric would come up for the weekend. He was to be staying in the room with us. Kristina's first class was at 8am. She'd take her shower at 6:30am and blow dry her hair in our room. Not sure why she couldn't blow dry her hair in the bathroom.

My philosophy was that college was the time in our life that we could meet new people and spread our wings a bit. And since I'm quite a nightowl, I would socialize with a lot of people in the dorm. I found living with Kristina a tad oppressive. She was always THERE, usually talking on the phone, but if she wasn't talking on the phone, she was studying & she didn't like noise. And she went to bed by 10pm.

Yes, I'd come in about 2am most nights. I tried to be quiet. I'm not a loud person, and if I'm actually trying to be quiet, I actually am very quiet. But doors squeak, and I had the top bunk.
Short into our life together, the post-it notes started. She would leave me post-its about my inferior behavior, which usually revolved about waking her up at night. "Please be quiet when you come in." I resisted the urge to reply back on the same post-it note, "I am. The stupid door squeaks, and you wanted the lower bunk." Then she started leaving me ultimatums on her post-it notes, "If you aren't here by 10pm, don't come in this room." Which resulted in me thinking and/or muttering a not so choice word.

It was around this time that Kristina and the two other girls decided to decorate the living room. Their decorating choice was to attach empty food containers to the ceiling and walls. So there would be used Ben & Jerry's and Triscuit containers attached to the walls and the ceiling. They hung used tea bags from the doorframes. It was....odd. And I'm kinda odd myself, but even I thought it was a bit much. Every day they would put their food containers on the wall. We had a trash can and a recycling bin, but for whatever reason they wanted to see those containers ferment on the walls. It wasn't just a few containers - it had to be 30 containers and at least 20 tea bags. Ewwwww.

Then Kristina left me another post-it note, "Please refrain from letting your friends sit in my chair." Let me explain this one. One of my guy friends came over to talk about his girlfriend problem (I was also the dorm therapist). The living room was occupied by the two other girls. A dorm room has bunk beds, and each person has a desk and chair. The lower bunk was Kristina's, and I thought him crawling up to my top bunk was a little weird. So I took my desk chair, and the only other chair in the room was her desk chair. It's not like he rifled through her desk. He used her dorm-issued desk chair for 30 minutes. Personally I thought Kristina was a little psycho and very controlling. She made me look like a Type B, laid-back person.

As a side note, I'm still fearful of post-it notes. Anytime I see a post-it note on my desk at work (thank god S doesn't leave me post-its around the house), I get all tense and think I'm being yelled at through post-it notes. PTKD - Post Traumatic Kristina Disorder.

After being chastised for coming home at 2am on a repeated basis, letting my friend use her dorm chair & not abiding by Kristina rules, I opted for other living arrangements - namely, socializing with whomever I wanted and sleeping in a different room. I was not about to sleep there on the weekends Eric was there, and since my curfew was 10pm on weeknights (ridiculous!), I just decided it was easier to avoid her completely. I'd come home and change after she went to her first class.

The clincher was one Saturday my mom came to visit. She and Eric were there, so I stayed elsewhere and came to the room to shower & change. My mom was early, and I was in the shower when she got there. Kristina told my mom that she was very "concerned" about me. She never saw me studying, and she thought I was drinking a lot.

Of course I heard about this through my mom half an hour later. "I'm doing fine, Mom. And I'm not drinking." The funny part is that I wasn't drinking. I don't know how Kristina came up with that one. Yes, I did attend the dorm parties, but I wasn't ever drinking or I'd hold one beer all night. So, yeah, she probably heard I was out and about at some party, but I rarely if ever had anything to drink. The studying thing - well, she never saw me - much less me studying. So I thought that was a hasty conclusion. Both were actually very hasty conclusions.

I do not know why, but my vague, short answer shut my mom up. I would anticipated her to harass me about it for at least an hour, but she didn't say anything about that afterward.

The next quarter I moved out and into my own room (still sharing the living area with a person in the other bedroom though). There's a bit of delayed vindication, but it's still vindication.

Miss Kristina apparently let loose a little too much one night, and she was caught drinking. She got a ticket for being a minor in possession of alcohol. I had to laugh at the irony when I heard about that.

Then... the kicker. I saw her on campus early the next quarter, and she comes up to me. "How'd you do last quarter?" I look at her kinda funny because it's out of the blue and somewhat odd. People who were with you in a class often ask how you do in a specific class, but usually people in a completely different major don't ask you how you did. So I say, "Fine." Because that's how I am. And she says, "Did you pass?" And at that point, I get it. She thinks I'm a complete dolt. So then I smile and say, "I got a 4.0." Which I did, but I don't find the need to say unless cornered by my lovely ex-roommate.

If I actually cared, I would have asked how she did. But frankly I didn't care. Until I was told by one of my friends who was a business major like Kristina that Kristina was on academic probation. How? She studied for 4 hours a day, at least. She even made flashcards and quizzed herself all the time. How could you study that much and be on academic probation? It turns out she bombed winter quarter too, and she got kicked out.

So both things she told my mom about me (her suspicion about my poor grades & my drinking) ended up really being about her. I got my vindication, and to this day I just shake my head about how it all went down.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Bad Hair Life




I've never really had any passionate feelings toward my hair. Maybe because personal grooming isn't high on my list (aside from rudimentary personal grooming, that is. I shower, put on deoderant, etc.). I've never been one to spend hours on my hair. Maybe blow dry it, maybe try to curl it. Curls don't stay in well, so I've learned that it's useless to try. But once or twice a year I'll try to curl it and sigh when my hair is perfectly straight a nanosecond later. I've done the perm thing; I'll have to dig up a photo of me in a perm, circa 1987. Most of my hair displeasure comes from not really liking the color. Over time, it's ended up being a light brown, perhaps dark blond. Some people say I'm a redhead, to my disdain. I have nothing against redheads, I just don't think I have red hair. I haven't dyed my hair in over a year, so right now it is as all natural as I've ever been since the age of 15.

That about sums up my hair displeasure.

Now, on the other hand, my displeasure with Julia's hair is about a mile long. That girl has the most awful hair ever. I pity her. I feel like I hit the hair lotto in comparison to her, and that makes me feel really guilty. Why couldn't she have gotten my hair? Noooooooo, she has to get S's truly awful hair. But it's easier for a boy to have awful hair because one buzz cut can solve all the problems. That is S's solution for his hair - buzz cut.

For a little girl, a buzz cut is not so much of an option. I seriously contemplated it until I realized that a buzz cut would just recreate all of these problems all over again as it grew out. It's probably the best to soldier through until it grows long enough that there's hope that it will weigh itself down.

It really doesn't take much explaining. The pictures speak for themselves. Julia, Daddy loves you despite giving you the worst hair ever.





Thursday, April 23, 2009

Brown Flowers


Oh my goodness, Julia and I took a halfway decent picture together! Her paci's in her mouth, but at least she's looking at the camera. I don't have snot coming out of my nose. But.... there is my mom's stupid couch. Ugh!

I hate this couch. Brown flowers? Really??? It radiates 1970s. Even as a toddler, I thought this couch was nasty. This living room set is my mom's pride and joy though. She and my dad bought it just after they got married (1976, y'all, if you couldn't tell by the brown flowers). They spent some unheard of sum for it back then - like $1,200. And she will tell you that they spent that much on their fancy dancy living room set, as if 1976 was just yesterday. Yes, I realize that $1,200 in 1976 was a lot. But it's been 33 years! They have served their purpose, working hard for 33 years. Don't you think they deserve to retire, Mom? Go to the couchie retirement home?

Honestly they are in very good condition for being 33 years old. Back when I was a teenager and chewed gum constantly, I fell asleep on the couch and got green gum all over the couch. Most of it was on a brown flower, thank goodness. For the next few days, I surreptiously tried to get the gum off before my mom got home. I think I succeeded because I can't even find where my 'secret' is. It's one of those things that she will never, ever know about. Don't tell me I'm the only one with secrets like that.

I've tried to get rid of these couches. I've been plotting their demise for at least 20 years. When we got new family room furniture, I gave her our old couches (circa 1999, it's not like they were THAT old). She didn't like them, though, and out came Brown Flowers again. Her husband doesn't like Brown Flowers either. He never sits on any of them, opting instead for a wooden rocking chair with a blanket over it.

Brown Flowers has always been the formal living room set. You know, the one you see immediately when you open the front door. This is the one you're supposed to impress your friends and family with while the icky, everyday couch hides in the back of the house in whatever the 'real' comfy room is called - whether it be den / family room / etc. But in their new house, there's only one living room - so Brown Flowers is IT unless you want to sit at the dining room table.

My mother has become a Craigslist addict. She buys furniture off Craiglist. She bought a grandfather clock ($50!!!), a dining room set, a buffet, etc. All of the stuff is from what decade? Come on, give a guess. Any guess! Yep, the 1970s. I think the buffet could be from the 1980s. It is reminiscent of those 1980s waterbed structures. Remember those? There was a mirror with oak headboard cabinets and bookshelves. Come on, you know you remember them.

And, no, my mother is not poor. She thinks she's poor, but she's not. She's just quite attached to 1970s furniture.

Julia, do you think you can take down Brown Flowers? I'd prefer to not buy her a new living room set, so maybe you can make it a subtle take-down. Barf on it a little while she's not watching, knock into Grandma when she's carrying hot chocolate, you get the drift!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Miss Maaaaah - velous


Today was a really nice day. I got some chores done - a 'real' clean of the master bathroom vs. a quick wipe down, fixing the stopper in the sink, getting S's birthday present, wrapping the present, weeding, Level 3 of The Shred (ooooh, aren't you impressed?), grocery shopping, folding clothes & I took a 2.5 hour nap. Usually I just dump J's clean clothes on her floor and never get around to actually folding them - I just take the clean ones from the pile. But today she got her clothes folded! Hey, at least she wears clean clothes. I don't profess to be Mother of the Year anyway.


I've been calling her Miss Marvelous. She has a cute shirt that says that. Miss Marvelous really needs a hair stylist though. Today she had a good day at daycare and at home. She took a 50 minute nap in the morning and a 2.5 hour nap in the afternoon. She ate 10 oz at daycare + half the container of yogurt. Yep, she ate 2 oz of yogurt at daycare without a problem. They would have fed her the other 2 oz, but she slept so long in the afternoon that she didn't give them an opportunity. Once I got her home, she ate another 4 oz of formula. After our walk with Ann (she was pretty good and she ate graham crackers and puffs while she was in her stroller), she ate about 2 ounces of baby food in the tub (we didn't try the 'new' high chair tonight because we were a little behind schedule). Then she ate another 4 oz of formula and went to sleep without a problem. Yep, THIS is the baby we ordered. The problem is that tomorrow will not likely repeat the smoothness of today. We can always hope though!






Our Dinner Ritual

Sneak one bite in, then screaming and moving away for a few minutes. Repeat. If you're lucky, she's eaten an ounce of food in half an hour - and hated every second of it.





Interesting to note that I got her to eat 2 oz of food in the bathtub only 5 minutes later.





What is wrong, Miss J? Have you revolted against your all-time favorite baby yogurt? Do you not like your high chair? Does your tummy hurt?





The test will be that today we took a container of baby yogurt to daycare. Will she eat it for them?








video

I'm allergic...no, really, I am!!!!

I'm allergic to a lot of things. The whole month of June I sneeze. If I'm around a cat, I sneeze. If I pull weeds, I sneeze. After dealing with this for 28 years of my life, I've kind of surmised that I'm allergic to cats and certain outside "stuff." A few years ago, I went to the allergist. He was a very weird guy. Now, at this point, you must think doctors and I don't get along. After all, I wanted to kill my obstetrician, the first pediatrician, and the first GI specialist for Miss J. You may think it may be me. And, yes, I am a difficult patient because I don't like to go to doctors. If I'm going, it's because there's a specific problem & either give me the medicine I need or give me the information I need. And quick, because I don't like to wait. The obstetrician appointments were just stupid. In all the times I went, he did not much that was useful. He measured my belly and freaked me out because I was measuring ahead. He would tell me that I'm putting on too much weight. And that's about it. To this day, I really think that the average pregnancy really only needs the labs and ultrasounds & a nurse on call if you have questions. You have to do the STD, GBS & gestational diabetes tests and at least one ultrasound to make sure things are progressing okay. But those don't have to involve the doctor. I hated going to all those appointments because all they were was him scaring me about one thing or another.

Back to the allergies, I have digressed. The allergy doctor was a freak. His whole staff quit a few days before I arrived. That should tell you something. He made me watch this hour long video of HIM explaining all about allergies. All I wanted was to be told what I was allergic to and given a Zyrtec prescription. I didn't even mind all the needles for the allergy test. I pretended it was acupuncture. He took to random shouting while I was there. I'm not sure who he was shouting at - probably himself. Guess what I'm REALLY allergic to - as in the bumps got really huge? Cats and grass! No duh, Sherlock. And what am I moderately allergic to? Dang near everything else - mold, trees, weeds, feathers, every type of furry creature, etc.

Then he goes on to tell me I have asthma. And he proceeds to give me two inhalers - one emergency and one normal and tells me to take those several times a day. Asthma? I don't have breathing problems. Isn't the emergency inhaler for those people in gym class who nearly pass out while running? While I don't like to run, I've never come that close to needing an inhaler.

So I came away from that $1,000 doctor appointment (consultation plus allergy tests plus "asthma test") with 2 asthma inhalers, 3 allergy prescriptions, and the knowledge that I'm allergic to cats and grass to a high degree & everything else to a moderate degree.

What was the point of this blog? Oh, I remember. I'm allergic to cats and grass, and the interesting thing is that I don't LIKE cats and grass. Cats freak me out, particularly how they sneak behind you and start rubbing their oils on you like you're their territory. Ick. And, grass, let's just say that being outside in the yard is my least favorite activity, after going to the doctor of course.

If I were allergic to chocolate and my couch, THAT would certainly be a problem. But cats and grass? I don't really mind too much. I have a legitimate excuse to not do yardwork. S actually sees how I become - it's no joke; I'm a sneezing, snotty, red and puffy, cranky MESS who must be drugged with sleeping medication for the next 12 hours. And avoiding cats? Don't really mind. It's inconvenient when a friend has a cat, and I can't go over to their house. But other than that, I really don't mind at all.

There are weeds in our front yard. I should go pull them. It will take 5 minutes to go pull them, and if I don't breathe & take a shower right when I come back, I should survive with minimal issues.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Unorthodox but, hey, it worked!

For the 16th day in a row (yes, I keep count), Julia has been rejecting her baby yogurt. She screams her head off as we feed it to her. Sunday we got an ounce into her, Monday we got two ounces into her, and today we got one ounce into her. It took 3 days to feed her a 4-oz container of yogurt. Yep, three days' worth of dinners = a 4-oz container of yogurt. She actually does like the stuff, despite the protestations. We also tried to get her to eat avocado for dinner; that was a no-go even though just a few weeks ago she gobbled it down. Actually she hasn't eaten any baby food for us either with the exception of Easter Sunday. She ate almost a whole jar of baby food at Easter dinner at my mom's. Weird.

So what do I do? I get the idea after our unsuccessful dinner feeding that I'll try to feed her during her bath. It may be slightly unorthodox, but she loves the bathtub + it will be easier to clean her there + we have a ton of baby food to get rid of. After I wash her and she's playing with the washcloth and her flashing ducks, I offer her a bite of sweet potatoes and turkey. I was completely amazed when she took it. And then she opened her mouth again.

What??? Julia never does that. I think it's a fluke, but she does it again. Within 2 minutes, half the jar of baby food is gone. Of course, we have slightly more spillage than when she's in her high chair because she's crawling around in the tub as she's eating. But, still, she got 2 ounces of baby food into her within a few minutes. Usually it's a half hour struggle to get an ounce of food into her, and there's usually plenty of screaming from her. This, in contrast, was EASY!!! She stopped eating shortly thereafter, but the point is that she ingested 2 ounces of solid food relatively easily.

And what do I do? Scream for S and show him the half empty jar of baby food. Then I try to figure out why she will eat in the tub and not her high chair.

Our current speculation is that perhaps she doesn't like her high chair. She ate Easter dinner at my mom's. She eats at daycare. But she won't eat in her high chair at home. So then I call my mom and ask to borrow her chair. For tomorrow's dinner we'll try that high chair. As crazy as it sounds, it's worth trying. And if she still refuses to eat in that high chair, there's always the bathtub!

Mixing it up

I try to make this blog a mix of Miss J, my normal but somewhat wacky life, musings about topics that sail through my head, and other things that would be filed under 'miscellaneous.'

Today's embarrassing story is that I had bra 'issues.' I was getting poked and had to secretly adjust myself all day. After a thorough investigation when I got home, I discovered that my underwire broke in the middle. I've never had underwire break before. It is a huge task to hold these DDD babies up all day, but I didn't know they were such monstrosities that they would break metal. Sigh! One more bra bites the dust. When underwire breaks in the middle, it loses all structural integrity and each piece goes in a different direction - causing ouchies and pokes all day long.

If I could actually lose weight, I know I'd lose some boob-age. I look forward to that. My boobs are pretty much useless. They are flipping huge, and you might think that I would be Elsie the Cow. But no, they never produced much milk. Maybe 15 oz a day if I pumped 6-8 times a day. Yep, they're huge AND useless.

Let me deviate to lactation consultants and Miss J. Lactation gave me such a hard time about how little I produced; they said I was starving her. But guess what - this little girl still only eats about 15 oz a day! I probably didn't even need to stop breastfeeding.

Oh well, live and learn, I would say I'll know better for the second child. But who are we kidding?

Monday, April 20, 2009

GI Distress

I really dislike the whole 'GI Doc for Julia' dance. It was a flipping nightmare to get the first GI appt. That GI doctor turned out to be useless, so we finally got an appt with a doctor at Children's Hospital. That involved tears with our normal pediatrician, who mercifully had to call Children's on our behalf (since they will only make the first appt with the doctor directly). As much as we cried and wheedled to get that appointment, basically the GI doctor told us that Julia was perfectly fine & that no tests were needed. Whatever.

She's had a bit of a decline (in weight, appetite, everything) lately. So it's time to revisit the whole GI doctor bit. I call Children's, and I think we already have an 'in' because she's been seen. Hooray, I as a measly parent can get her to be seen without tears and without involving her normal pediatrician. But wait! The doctor she saw last time has cut back his time at the satellite location we go to. He's only there once a month.

No problem - right? There's another doctor in the same office. Can I have Julia see her instead? NOOOO! You can only see the doctor you've seen before because they want 'continuity of care.' But, but, but... we've only gone one lousy time three months ago; the doctor is not going to remember Julia anyway. And the other doctor is stationed there more often. NOPE! You cannot see another doctor unless your pediatrician calls the Chief GI Dude to plead your case.

For the love of GOD! I swear, they want to wear you out before you even get there. So by the time you're actually seen, you're flat exhausted from 1) the rigamarole to get the appt 2) the amount of time you wait from the time you make the appointment until the day the appointment actually rolls around 3) the amount of time you sit in the lobby on the day of your appointment and 4) by saying your child is perfectly normal & you're the one that's insane.

Tell me this, GI Doctor Supreme Ruler of the GI Universe, is it normal for a child to scream and refuse food ALL THE TIME?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sippy Cups, Baby DVDs & Pinesol

Miss J seems, for the most part, to be a normal baby except when it comes to eating. In that arena, it feels like she is sooo far behind. She still doesn't hold her own bottle. And she doesn't use a sippy cup. She will drink out of a normal cup if 1) you hold it and 2) if she thinks she's thirsty. The second criteria is the clincher. She rarely thinks she's thirsty, so it is a monumental event if you ever get her to drink from a cup. We have bought nearly every sippy cup on the market - seriously. Nuby first sippers, Gerber Graduates, sports bottles, Munchkin straw cups, Avent trainer cups, normal lidded cups with straws. The closest we can get her to "drink" from it is for her to chew on the spout or straw. Her absolute favorite sippy cup activity is to turn it upside down and chew on the bottom. Parental exasperation on her complete lack of interest in sipping out of sippy cups is setting in.

Initially we really felt like we had a TV baby. Every time we held her, from the age of 2 DAYS old, she would turn toward the TV when it was on. When she was 3 DAYS old, she turned toward the TV even when it wasn't on - as if she was willing it to turn on. Our newborn was a TV addict. She had no idea who we were, but she knew that if she turned her head to the right while she ate that she might see colors on that box. We really thought she would be even more obsessed with TV as she grew older. But she hasn't been. Maybe it's because our family room TV is above the fireplace, and it's hard to see from that angle. Occasionally she'll look at it, but never more than 10 seconds and then she'll go back to playing with her activity table or venture to the kitchen to see if there are any refrigerator magnets she can gnaw on. We have a few baby DVDs (all gifts), but we've rarely played them. One is Baby Einstein, one is The Wiggles (ugh), and I can't even remember the other two. I wouldn't mind Teletubbies or Blue's Clues, but I know we don't have those. I guess we could play the DVDs we have occasionally, but Miss J really doesn't seem to be interested in them. One morning I was holding her and flipping through stations, and we came across Sesame Street. One of the characters was on the screen, and she actually seemed interested. Hmmm...maybe I should show her one of the DVDs we have occasionally. At least the Baby Einstein number DVD.

I am such a horrible housekeeper. I have an awful time keeping toilets clean. The toilet cleaner only seems to work for a day or two (you know, the blue squirty kind). So for many years I've been using plain old bleach to clean the toilets. The smell will asphyxiate you, but it seems like it actually DOES something. Anyway, we've run out of bleach. At Target today (I only went to Target 3 times this weekend!) I was on the prowl for something that actually cleans the toilet and smells good. I came across Pinesol. According to the label, you can use it on toilets. Score! I love the smell of Pinesol. So I used it today, and it actually fits the bill of cleaning well + smelling good. I'll take any kind of victory that I can get.

Friday, April 17, 2009

One BIG vice

My funny, vice-laden uncle recently told me that I need to get some vices. I have one big vice - sweets - but he seems to think that I need to add a few others to my toolkit of coping skills.

Coffee - it is sacrireligious to live in Seattle and not drink coffee. I know this. I am surrounded by some of the best coffee in the world, and I have yet to imbibe it. It's way too bitter. I've been told to add cream to it. Why not just eat a cream filled dessert instead? Why use the cream to tone down bitterness? Part of me feels like I should go through a Starbucks drive-thru and order a venti double shot something something.

Alcohol - Beer is icky to me. A glass of wine here or there is okay. A little vodka mixed with fruit juice is okay. But most of the time a little glass is all it takes before I feel a little hazy, and then I call it good.

Drugs - I've been given many Percocet & Vicodin prescriptions in my life, and I've never filled one of them. I probably could use Xanax (particularly with all of Miss J's feeding / sleeplessness / crankiness issues), but I have yet to muster enough courage to go to a doctor and ask for a prescription. Because a doctor will weigh me (ack!) and ask me personal questions (double ack!!) & I am not really fond of doctors anyway. Therefore, I don't have a Xanax vice yet.

Smoking - disgusting. I can't get over how my hands and hair pick up the smell of smoke in a bar, much less trying the habit myself.

Miss J is now up for the fifth time since going to bed at 8pm. She is soooo unhappy. I know she's hungry (only at 10 ounces so far for the day), but she won't eat. What is wrong with her? Why do the doctors not take me seriously?

Xanax. I really need some Xanax. Xanax, I need you. And it would probably be a much better vice than sweets because I might be able to lose some weight.

Just Slept

S and I were bad. We both took the day off from work and took Miss J to daycare. Well, we pay for daycare anyway, and we don't have anyone else willing to watch Miss J for a few hours. I'm not complaining because I knew we wouldn't ever have a babysitter as we went into this whole genetic science experiment (aka Miss J). My mom is not one of those people who loves being a grandma. She likes Miss J and all, but she's certainly never going to offer to watch her for a few hours. She's more apt to drop by on her way to church for half an hour. Of course, she'll show up while Miss J is napping, and it's the few precious minutes of alone time S and I have on the weekend. So then we have to entertain her, and the minute she steps out of the house, Miss J will wake up screaming from her nap. Oh yay (being very sarcastic)!

Hence, S and I took Miss J to daycare and had a day to ourselves. (Thankfully her temperature seemed normal this morning.) What did we do? After I dropped her off, I came back home & we crawled back in bed and slept until 11:30am. Then we went to Billy McHale's for lunch, walked the very sad local mall, stopped at the library, and came home. Then I took another nap while S watched TV. I was still catching up on sleep at 4:30 when he went to pick up Miss J.

Now isn't that completely scintillating? Sleeping and lunch. Isn't it a completely pathetic waste of a day off? I could do it every day, though. :)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cleanse or No Cleanse?

I was in the car today, and I hear a commercial for Evercleanse. The makers of the cleansing program claim there can be 10-25 pounds of toxic crap that is clinging to your colon walls. Now that is an intriguing thought, huh? Of course they say you can get rid of it all if you go on their cleansing program.

Can you picture yourself cleansing out your 10-25 pounds worth of toxic crap (pun intended)? I know they are trying to get you to imagine yourself 10-25 pounds lighter, but I - the sicko that I am - prefer to dwell on the fact on how you're going to get that much extra tonnage out of your body. It does not sound pleasant.

I really don't think there can be that much just hanging out in your colon. I'd buy 2-5 pounds. Not any more than that. If you're on a cleanse, I'd bet most of the weight loss is due to living off of fiber juice for a week. After you incorporate "real" food, you'll gain most of it back.

I suppose the real test is if I would go on a cleanse. Wouldn't you love to hear about my progress on a cleanse???????

Tummy still hurts from pizza at lunch. Stay down, food, stay down.

Goal #1 Reached!

I've been trying so hard to lose weight in 2009. I really can't blame the pregnancy for getting me up so high. I lost 30 of the 40 lbs I gained within 3 weeks of having Miss J (probably breastfeeding helped). So I should have only had 10 pounds to go. But the kicker was that I gained 15 lbs on my maternity leave. Me staying at home within arm's reach of the fridge and pantry at all times was awful for the waistline. Finally, yes finally, I'm back to my 3 week post-partum weight since I lost those 15 maternity leave pounds & I'm so happy about it! Ha, isn't that funny that I was striving for my 3 week post-partum weight???

So now I'm striving for my 8 week pregnant weight. I'm not calling it my pre-pregnancy weight because I gained 5 pounds between my pre-pregnancy and 8 week appointment weight. If I can get to my 8 week pregnant weight, then I'll worry about getting to my pre-pregnancy weight.

Am I confusing anyone? Yeah, I probably should just put numbers, but I don't want to do that until I actually have something to be proud of. Right now the numbers are still too depressing.

In 2009 I've tried a number of strategies. Counting calories, walking every day, The Firm, Shredding, Weight Watchers, and probably a few others. As long as I have the time in the day, I can exercise. I actually don't even mind doing it. My big problem is that I'm soooo starving after exercising. Then I eat something bad, and that negates all the exercise. I had high hopes for shredding, but then I ended up gaining 4 lbs in 2 weeks. That was really discouraging.

So far what has seemed the most helpful is focusing on lowering food intake. Counting points. As much as I associated counting points with counting calories, it really is different. Why? Because if you're out of points at the end of the day, you have zero point options out there. If you run out of calories, on the other hand, you are basically relegating yourself to water or diet soda.

Getting sick twice in a month has helped as well. But I don't advise it.

I hope to keep up the momentum on my way to getting down to my 8 week pregnant weight. Roughly 10 pounds to go!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tax Day Anniversary

This week has been kinda ugh. Work has been full of meetings, and I've been pedal to the metal on getting stuff out the door. It looks like I'm taking Friday off, as is S, so hopefully we can ship J to daycare and have a nice day alone. That's the saving grace!

Then yesterday the flu hit Miss J and me. I was puking, and Miss J has a 101-102 degree fever. It's best that way instead of the other way around; at least she's keeping food down. Today she still had a fever, but no other signs, and thankfully daycare kept her.

Usually she plays and has a ball in the tub. During tonight's bath, she was slumped over and whining the whole time. Other than give her baby fever reliever and keeping her hydrated, I'm not sure that we can do much else. :(

I finally got the box of clothes I ordered online. I tried to err on the side of caution and got things on the bigger side. And, well, they are kinda big. They look okay. I wore the cashmere/wool blend sweater today, and I was itching like crazy. It was a pretty color though!

Today is Tax Day! We moved into our house on Tax Day of 1999, so we have lived in our house for a DECADE as of today. That is soooo crazy. Seriously! It feels like we were kids when we bought the house. I had just turned 21. It's amazing how time flies.

I've been trying to read a book. Now when I want to read a book, I have to read during lunch or maybe 1/2 an hour before bed. Back in the day, I could read for a good 5 hour chunk after work. I miss marathon reading. I remember at my previous job that a lady had a baby, and she would always read while holding her. Either her baby is nothing like Miss J, or I need multi-tasking lessons.

Adios for the evening! I'm going to try to sneak off into la la land and intermittently itch. Even though I removed the sweater, I'm still having phantom itching.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

It's Easter (technically)

Happy Easter! I wish everyone a wonderful and peaceful Easter. I had to work Saturday, and it was so cute because there was an Easter hunt where I was working. So many little kids, all holding their Easter baskets and sooo excited to see the Easter Bunny. The Easter Bunny was a little anorexic looking in my estimation, but the kids didn't seem to mind.

Today Miss J is up to 18 oz of formula!!!! She'll likely wake up again around 3am, and she'll likely drink another ounce or two - so she may get to 20 ounces!!!! The downside is the only real solid we got into her is a container of her yogurt. It was a real fight to even get that into her. But I'm soooo much more happy today because she ate a good amount of formula (for her). 18 oz concentrated is like 22 oz of "normal" formula. We can be certain she's not dehydrated, and it's far less worrisome when she takes a bottle willingly or with only a couple of tries vs. repeated outright refusal.

A sigh of relief. However, it begs the question why she reversed her position of eating solids and refusing formula. I have no freaking clue. S watched J while I worked today, and he said there was a mysterious thing that she "passed" - if you get my drift. A big chunk of something. Apparently he started digging around and tried to investigate the chunk. He couldn't figure out what it was made up of. Perhaps that had been stuck in her gut, and she had no appetite until it passed???? Who really knows??? The moon could be aligned with the sun today, as far as we know.

I just had to share my excitement. I have no idea what kind of food day Julia will have tomorrow. It's the roulette game we play, but it takes the edge off because we know that at least Saturday she had a good amount of fluids + the vitamins in the formula.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

My 3am sad, frustrated vent

It was an emotional week. Some sad things happened to some friends, some sad things happened to co-workers, and Julia's had a pitiful eating formula week. You know, sometimes at 3am you just have to cry a little as you hold your daughter who's refusing to drink formula but starving at the same time. She's up to 10 ounces for the day if you include what I just forced her to drink after a 15 minute struggle to get her to start eating. Usually she will eat without too much problem during the middle of the night. But she's gotten to the point where she will even refuse that.

My mind gets going, I get so sad, and then there's a tear-filled pity party while S sleeps. I know he's concerned too, but he has the crazy (and healthy) ability to just put it out of his mind and go to sleep. Whereas I stay up fretting for another couple of hours. If I don't have an ulcer right now, I know I'm well on my way. The anxiety just paralyzes me. Why is she doing such a horrible backslide? This week is her worst ever. There may be one bad day or maybe 2, but she rebounds. It's been a whole week of her eating 4-6 ounces during the day, then maybe 8-10 at night. However, tonight she's not even even there. She is eating solids okay (saving grace), but she's refusing the bottle and anything in it.

Tonight after we just had the horrible feeding, she wouldn't even take her pacifier because she thought it was a bottle.

Sometimes I wish I could just trade her for a baby that will eat. I feel so horrible for thinking that because she doesn't have any major health problems. She's beautiful and developmentally on target, but it gets to be sooo stressful (or at least I stress out) trying to feed her. Doctors are really no help because they say nothing's wrong with her - although they won't do any tests. The minimal tests they have done say that she's perfectly healthy, and they don't think additional tests are warranted. This is code for, "Stop being so damn uptight!"

My claim is that she's not eating formula for a reason - likely that it hurts her. She has a good week (for her, not for a "typical" baby), then a bad day, and then there are some bad days in there, but when her bad days turn into bad weeks, I get really worried. Something is really bugging her. Then I'm afraid she'll lose weight, and we'll start spiraling.

J has actually had some good weight gains recently. Sometimes it seems to me like her body is doing everything it can to NOT gain weight. I don't get it!

I know most people can't understand. It feels so very alone. Doctors tell me I've overreacting, J is miserable, I'm a ball of anxiety, and I'm so very tired of living like this day in and day out. I hate that my world revolves around getting so many fluids & calories into her, and that my mood is dependent on whether J's eating that day.

I guess I've said all that I can say about the issue, but I'm still so sad and frustrated.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Really Random

- We got swatches of potential paint colors put on the house. Option 1, Option 2, Option 3. When I got home, S told me to go out and pick my favorite. I told him Option 3 was my favorite, I could deal with Option 1 if he wanted, and please just say no to Option 2. And he said that was the precise order he thought. He said he hoped I didn't like Option 2. Decision made in 2 minutes. Option 3, aka "Rolling Stone." It's a yellowish tan. I just have to call the painters and confirm Rolling Stone, then hopefully the house will be painted next week, weather pending. It's Seattle -> weather definitely pending.

- I have to go to a conference tomorrow for work. Short story is that I forgot to pick up the printouts before I left work. I remembered after I got home. Then I turned around to go back to work, and it just so happened that the conference coordinator had picked them up for me, and she's taking them to the conference. Wasted trip, but I did some food shopping while I was out and about, so I guess it wasn't totally wasted.

- One of the places I stopped was Costco. I hate, hate, hate Costco. Costco's Seattle based, so I shouldn't; I should have allegiance to regional stores. My list of Costco dislikes are as follows: the parking lot mayhem, the line to get OUT the door, you can often get lower prices at the grocery store sales, the pre-chosen flavor variety packs in which I never like all flavors, the long lines to check out - ack!!!!! I don't know why we have a membership other than the gas and because we're splitting it with my mom. We don't even buy diapers or formula there. Diapers are bought at Babies R Us the day after Thanksgiving for $10 a box (about 7-10 cents a diaper). The formula I've been getting off eBay because it's only $16 a can vs. $26 a can in the store. (She's on hypoallergenic Alimentum.)

- Julia has been going to sleep initially very well. Our routine is that I sit on the floor of her room with her at a 45 degree angle so the night light glows on her cheek and she faces her dresser as I feed her. Then I put her into her crib. She turns over on her tummy and crawls to the CORNER of her crib and puts her upper back and legs against the crib slats. I think she's trying to mimic how she laid in the womb. She seriously was always pushing my ribs with her feet. She does the same thing in her crib. One would think she would perhaps sprawl across the length of her crib instead of being in a ball in a corner. S has admitted that he hasn't been able to find her in the crib (yes, it was 3am) since she's all curled up in a corner and taking up about 5% of the whole crib.

- I'm tired and will be going to bed now. Night night.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Rhymes with Maiden

Back in 2007, per the Social Security Administration, the thing was to name your baby boy something that rhymes with "Maiden." Aaden, Caden and Brayden were exceedingly popular names that year. So I kinda chuckle to myself when I go into the infant room, and I see Julia's cubby with a Brayden on the right and Caden on the left. Of 6 boys, 2 of the boys' names rhyme with "Maiden."

There's a new baby that will be starting. They've already made up the sign for the cubby. "Balin." I stared at that name for 3 days before I gathered up the courage to ask whether it was a boy or a girl.

I indeed fretted about whether to name Julia a "classic" name or a "trendy" name. For most of the pregnancy, we were leaning toward trendy, and in the last few weeks we changed our mind. And I'm so glad we did. I have no ill will toward trendy names, but it just wasn't for us. At least the trendy name we had picked out was an obvious 'girl' name.

Balin. Balin. I keep trying to figure out the rationale for it - balin' hay is about all that I come up with.

For what it's worth, Balin is a boy.

Going to Bed Hungry

This BL 2009 challenge is stalling for me. I've kicked up the exercise notch for two weeks in a row, and nothing has been happening except for weight gain. So this week my new strategy is to really focus on my food intake. That means I stay within my points, which is really really hard for me. I have a huge appetite, and when I run out of points by 5pm, it's a long and cranky evening. Don't worry, I know I can steam some broccoli if I get really desperate. But steamed broccoli just doesn't do it for me. So my tummy is growling; I am hungry, and I'm blogging instead of raiding the pantry and refrigerator.

It was a really poor food day for Miss J. She has seemed to have made such strides lately, but this evening was one of the worst. It was a definite backslide. I'm not sure what is causing it. On Friday and Saturday we backed off on her Prevacid. One would have thought the backslide would have occurred then - not 3-4 days later. That's one thing S and I disagree about. I am honestly for avoiding medications, but something is bugging Miss J. The general consensus is that it's silent reflux that is causing her food aversions - eating hurts her, so she gives up on eating so she doesn't hurt as much - never mind the fact that she was starving herself for a while. Considering that my side of the family is full of reflux issues, it is likely the main issue. But after 2 good weeks, I think my darling husband naively thinks that she has grown out of her reflux (my cousing is 11 and still takes Prilosec). I think that we need to religiously give her the reflux meds until she's 1, and then we can re-evaluate then. Anyway, S won this weekend, and we backed off. Is that causing today's episode, or is it something totally different? That's what is so frustrating about having a baby who can't tell you what's wrong.

We spent 4 hours trying to feed her this evening. At first we did her dinner of a graham cracker, banana yogurt, and ricotta. A little container of yogurt is 140 calories, and since she had an abysmal food day, we knew we had to get that into her. So we give her about 1 ounce while she's screaming (she's eating slowly but interjecting screaming), give her a graham cracker which gives us a blessed 5 minutes without screaming, back to yogurt and screaming, then veggie puffs and quiet, back to yogurt and screaming, and then some ricotta. The ricotta had a little bit of screaming attached. You may think she hates the yogurt. She's loved the stuff for the past month, but her issue is more that she wants to feed herself. After the solid feeding was done, we try for the next four hours to feed her a bottle since she's only had 6 ounces all day. Complete repeated failure even though we knew she had to be hungry. Finally I got her to take a bottle after 8pm. "Bottle" is stretching it because it was 3 ounces. 3 ounces is actually a great feeding for her. Then I woke her up at midnight and fought with her, but she finally took another 3 ounces. So she's up to 12 whopping ounces of formula for the day. I just tried to wake her up and feed her again, but she wasn't having it.

Not knowing what her issue is breaks my heart. I feel like I've failed this little girl for the last 10 months. In some ways, she does seem happy. In other ways, it seems like she's really wound up tight (as in her personality). And in other ways, it seems like her tummy gives her so much grief.

People keep asking if we're going to have another. I just can't go through this again. Reflux (silent or non-silent) is so dominant in my family that I am convinced we will go through a similar (or worse) experience. I thank my lucky stars that nothing more severe is wrong with Miss J, but at the same time these feeding struggles haven't been a picnic. Going through them again with a baby while having a toddler who likely won't eat isn't something I look forward to.

But is Miss J losing out by not having a sibling? I don't know. I think most people have the romantic image that their children will be the best of friends. That could be the case, but I'm sure more often than not the siblings only see each other when forced to by Mother as they become adults. There are a lot of different dimensions to it, and I'm oversimplifying. But I would like to want another for more than the obvious reason of giving Miss J a playmate.

I guess I'll try to feed her one more time before I lay back down for a couple more hours sleep.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Dewey, Show Me Your Decimal!

I love libraries. Ever since I was a little girl, I took comfort in the Dewey decimal system and the smell of acid paper. I loved searching through the card catalog drawers, and I enjoyed hearing the satisfied *clunk* of the machine that checked out the books. Then came acid-free paper and computerized catalogs. I'm kind of a geek - I could roll with the computerized punches. The Dewey decimal system remained a constant, though, and I appreciated that.

As more and more books are published, it makes intuitive sense that there needs to be more place to store them because, of course, you can't banish the old ones for the sole purpose of providing space for the new books.

The local library is being closed for expansion for a whole year or more. I am saddened. First of all, I don't like change. Second of all, the other library is further away and it's small. It also stinks like wet dog. I went to the further away stinky library twice in the past week. It is soooo crowded. The closed library that they're expanding is currently 40,000 square feet. The other library is 6,000 square feet. So the further away library is really at maximum capacity. They seem to have about 80-100 parking spaces, and they're all full & people are parking on the grass. There is a huge line for all of the computers. There are so many people milling around that you can't find anything. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

After I picked up the movie that was on hold, I remembered that they opened up a small branch in the mall temporarily. It had to be better than the smelly overcrowded library. It was far less crowded, but there was hardly anything there. I browsed and came away with a few books, so I guess it wasn't too horrible of a selection. They did have a lot of children's and teen fiction. And there were a zillion resume and job hunting books. I wonder by what process things were sent to the mall library. Was it like, "Hey, how do we target people who amble the mall and come into the mall library during the day? Jobs! They need jobs."

I'm counting down the days til they open the newly expanded library that will accommodate all those new books published in the last 18 years.

Jon, Kate and Those 8

While I was pregnant, I started watching J&K+8. I was sucked into the daily lives of these 10 people. I loved Cara, thought Mady was a drama queen (kinda like her mom), and the sextuplets were the cutest ever. It was amazing that they had no major health problems after being born so premature. They were indeed lucky. Some things nagged at me, though: why did we never see the grandparents, we rarely saw their friends, Kate was a pain in the butt, etc.

It has seemed like the family gets more and more free stuff all the time - clothes, trips, cosmetic surgery, etc. They seemingly have a new episode every week, so they also get even more money from TLC. With more filming, the kids are surrounded by a camera crew even more often. They moved into their huge new house, which was likely funded by TLC.

To me it seems like Jon and Kate are using their children to get the lives they've always wanted. If it wasn't for those kids, who would watch that show? Who would want to watch a woman scream and nag at her husband all day? It's the kids that are the lure, and people watch it for them. Those kids, who have lost much of their privacy for most of their lives, are funding the fancy house and other extras. But they don't get a say in whether they want the show to continue, and thus continue losing their privacy. Pennsylvania doesn't have stringent child labor laws, so the film crew is allowed to infringe on the kids; the law can't even protect them. Their parents are too enticed by the money to protect them. It's so sad to witness.

I can go on about how Kate seems to have been really sucked in by all the money and celebrity status. Yeah, it's true. She has definitely changed physically since she started the show; she must have a stylist and a PR staff now. She seems to be away from the kids a lot more.

What really teed me off is that she charges churches an appearance fee (usually several thousand dollars) + travel costs to come and give a talk to the congregration, and then she takes donations (or 'love offerings' as it's called) from the parishioners on top of all that. This is what I'd be thinking if I was a parishioner in one of the many churches she visits. Ummm, you have had a TV show for 3 years, you paid over a million dollars for your house, you have several book deals, you have received a free vehicle & free clothes & free trips for many years, you charged my church a fee to come talk for one hour, and on top of all that, you expect me to donate money to you personally in cash only so you don't have to pay taxes on it???? You canNOT be serious!

Stop the exploitation of these kids by their parents who are too blindsided by money and celebrity status to do what's best for them: end the show and go back to living life without cameras.

Off of soapbox.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Into the Wild

At B's suggestion, I put the movie "Into the Wild" on hold at the library a few weeks ago. It finally came in this weekend, and I popped it into the DVD player.

Wow! It's along the same vein as "Grizzly Man." It's a true story about a smart dude with a few screws loose who decides to go up to Alaska and live in the wild. Along the way, he meets some really awesome people and learns a lot - except perhaps that living in the great wilds of Alaska may not be as romantic as he imagines it. People tried to tell him that, but he didn't quite listen.

The movie resonates with me on many levels. Mental disorders, bad childhoods, romanticizing/idealizing something that isn't, persistence, sheer stupidity, pride, self-control. There was a lot there. Almost anyone can take a lot from that movie.

Two thumbs up!

Why did I think this was a bright idea?

I'm not the brightest person. Sometimes I get these crazy ideas, and then I follow through and things turn out not so well. Then instead of trying to fix it, my stupid pride gets in the way and I make myself suffer through as if nothing is wrong.

So today I take a bath. And I get the zany idea to use bath butter as bubble bath. Bubble bath is really liquidy and is made for this purpose. Bath butter? Ummm, not really. It's really thick and although it does foam, it doesn't quite dissolve the same. I notice that chunks of it are clinging to the bathtub, so I try to wipe it off. I wash my hair like I always do in the bathtub. I wash it in the tub water, but when I condition, I rinse it under the spigot with fresh water.

Bath done, I get out. When I brush my hair, I notice that it feels different. It's like there's a thick coating of.... I don't know what at first. After 10 minutes (because I'm kind of slow), I realize that it's bath butter coating my hair!

I should have re-washed my hair. But nooooo... I go on with my day pretending that nothing's wrong. You are much more intelligent than I, and YOU probably haven't had butter derivatives in your hair. Let me tell you, butter in your hair makes it look really greasy and like you haven't washed it in years. I took my bath 12 hours ago, and my hair doesn't really look or feel dry. It feels like a big ol' grease ball.

I'm really looking forward to my shower tomorrow morning.

Founding Tenets

Since I've changed venue, I feel like I've lost 2 years of blog posts. And I'm waaaaaay too lazy to move everything. Still...I feel like I need to get any new readers up to speed on Beth's Blog Tenets - Shorthand Version. Each of them is several (usually annoyed) blog posts. However, since I'm too lazy to move all those blog entries and I'm too lazy to blog about each of them again, here are some. If any readers are from the old blog, feel free to add to the list.

1. I dislike the phone. I feign deafness and don't answer it except at work. I don't like cell phones.

2. I dislike Costco but have a Costco membership.

3. Miss J doesn't eat very much, but she's made some progress in the last 6 weeks in a positive direction. She's up to the 3rd percentile!

4. I'm married to a wonderful man. He's my hero.

5. I love board games. I love murder mysteries. I want to start hosting murder mysteries again.

6. I love the 80s!!!

7. I recently learned from a doctor friend (the PhD kind, not the medical kind) that I have low self-esteem issues & slight OCD. That's it. I really thought I was more screwed up than that. Or maybe he just doesn't know me well enough yet.

8. I HATE getting little books sent to me from someone who shall remain nameless. They always have passages highlighted, as in, "Beth, let me help you come to the light. Once you read this paragraph, you'll change your views." Ummm... yeah, right, I'm a fairly stubborn girl.

And there are more; I just can't remember them!

Friday, April 3, 2009

My First Online Clothes Buying Experience

Yes, I have been buying stuff online since 1999. I have an eBay account, and I have had at least 100 transactions on there. I buy stuff on Amazon, Buy.com, and lots of other places as well. But I have never bought clothing online. There's something about it that really makes me nervous. I want to see the clothing, touch it, perhaps try it on, and if I like it -> I want to take it home NOW! So online clothes shopping has never appealed to me.

Tonight I made my first online clothes purchase. Did I purchase just one thing? Nooooooooo..... that would be too simple. I bought 15 pieces of clothing! I got quite a deal, but I'm still really unsure about the purchase. You know how every brand is sized ever so slightly differently, colors aren't quite the same as the swatch, and so on. Hopefully I'll get it by the end of next week and will give you a full report.

New Blog

Woohoo! I'm finally becoming a 'big girl' and not using MySpace to blog anymore. Believe it or not, I've been blogging for 2 years. Friends would even say that I blog a lot. This will be just a change of venue.